The mission of the Acton Institute is to promote a free, virtuous, and humane society. This direction recognizes the benefits of a limited government, but also the beneficent consequences of a free market. It embraces an objective framework of moral values, but also recognizes and appreciates the subjective nature of economic value. It views justice as a duty of all to give the one his due but, more importantly, as an individual obligation to serve the common good and not just his own needs and wants. In order to promote a more profound understanding of the coming together of faith and liberty, the Institute involves members of religious, business, and academic spheres in its various seminars, publications, and academic activities. It is our hope that by demonstrating the compatibility of faith, liberty, and free economic activity, religious leaders and entrepreneurs can contribute by helping to shape a society that is secure, free, and virtuous.
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VideosLord Acton's famous quote: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely"
The Star Trek crew recognizes the wisdom in Lord Acton's insight from 1887: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
A Theory of Corruption
by Osvaldo Schenone
There is no greater scourge that affects the proper functioning of any economic system than corruption. Tragically, corruption is pervasive in developing nations. It is found often on the part of public officials who delay the issuance or processing of public documents unless a monetary inducement is offered.
The Good That Business Does
by Robert Kennedy
One of the major political challenges of the modern era has been to manage the integration of business into the life of the civil community. Similarly, Christian social thinkers have struggled to integrate business activity into their account of morality, justice, and the common good.
Fair Trade? Its Prospects as a Poverty Solution
by Victor Claar
Fair Trade is an enormously popular idea in Christian and secular circles alike. Who, after all, could be against fairness? Victor V. Claar, however, raises significant economic and moral questions about both the logic and economic reasoning underlying the fair trade movement.
by Thomas E Woods, Jr.
Troubled by rampant injustice and inequality, many conscientious Christians advocate radical economic reforms. Distributism, a program that traces its popularity to Catholic writers Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton, promotes the widespread ownership of property by tempering the market with guilds or similar associations.
Una Teoría de la Corrupción
by Osvaldo Schenone
No hay mayor lacra que afecta al buen funcionamiento de cualquier sistema económico de la corrupción. Trágicamente, la corrupción es un fenómeno generalizado en los países en desarrollo. Se encuentra a menudo por parte de los funcionarios públicos que retrasan la emisión o elaboración de documentos públicos a menos que un incentivo monetario que se ofrece.
Slitting the Sycamore
by Eduardo Echeverria
The effectiveness of Christian participation in political, economic, and social life depends upon understanding the proper relationship between the Church and the world, Christ and culture.
On Christians and Prosperity
by James Schall
Concern for the poor is at the heart of Christianity. Christians are also called to contribute to human flourishing and create the wealth necessary to alleviate poverty. In this wide-ranging essay, one of the great teachers of political philosophy of our time calls us to think prudently about poverty and prosperity within the Christian tradition. Fr. Schall engages with core questions about...
A Prescription for Health Care Reform
by Donald Condit
Rising costs and demographic realities render the current American health care system unsustainable. The situation presents a particular challenge for Christians who recognize that access to health care is a basic requirement of a just social order. Physician Donald Condit, drawing on an impressive array of empirical research, skillfully applies the principles of Catholic social teaching to...
A Biblical Case for Natural Law
by David VanDrunen
This monograph is for Christians who are perplexed about the biblical standing of natural law. It offers an explicitly biblical defense for the existence and practical importance of natural law. If natural law is taught in Scripture, it should certainly be affirmed in Christian theology.
Judaism, Law & The Free Market: An Analysis
by Joseph Lifshitz
Judaism and Jewish religious, legal, and moral principles are often regarded as translating into support for broadly social democratic economic positions. In Judaism, Law, and the Free Market, Joseph Isaac Lifshitz suggests that this claim is difficult to sustain once the traditional sources of Jewish wisdom are subject to careful analysis.
One and Indivisible: The Relationship between Religious and Economic Freedom
by Acton Institute
In the twenty-first century, increasing persecution of religious believers across the world has brought renewed attention to the importance and foundations of genuine religious liberty. Too often, however, advocates of religious freedom fail to recognize the ways in which other aspects of freedom—including the rights to property and economic initiative—are intertwined with the freedom to act...
The Social Agenda: A Collection of Magisterial Texts
by Acton Institute
Students, teachers, and all those who seek a better knowledge of the social doctrine of the Church will find contained within this collection the central statements of the Roman Pontiffs from a range of texts, including papal encyclicals, apostolic letters, and Conciliar documents, on matters relating to politics, economics, and culture.
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